Book Review: A Simple Secret {Darcey Bell}

Do you remember a few weeks ago when I picked up 3 new (to me) books from a generous library donation?  Last week I decided to read one of them and it was AMAZING.  This book review was such an easy one to write because my feelings about this book were so clear cut.  I LOVED IT.  I was so impressed with this debut novel by Darcey Bell and I’m anxiously awaiting future works by this clearly gifted writer.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together—just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time.

But Emily doesn’t come back. She doesn’t answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong—Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say. Terrified, she reaches out to her blog readers for help. She also reaches out to Emily’s husband, the handsome, reticent Sean, offering emotional support. It’s the least she can do for her best friend. Then, she and Sean receive shocking news. Emily is dead. The nightmare of her disappearance is over.

Or is it? Because soon, Stephanie will begin to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor—is as simple as it seems.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

5 Stars

From page 1, I was hooked.  This book is AWESOME.  I read it in 3.5 days although if I had the time I could easily have knocked this one out all in one sitting.  There were twists and turns all throughout this story (some I saw coming, some I did not) that kept me interested until the very end.  I loved the writing style, I loved that there weren’t too many characters, I loved that the story wasn’t told from too many perspectives, I loved the twists,  I loved how utterly MESSED UP some of the parts were (I actually felt my eyes widen quite a few times while reading…the sign of an awesome book), I loved it all!

And obviously, I loved that Stephanie (one of the main characters) was a blogger 🙂

I posted about my love for this book on Instagram:

And in the true spirit of paying it forward, I held a giveaway on Facebook for my personal copy of this book to share with someone else in the community:

Congratulations Dianna!!!

As I was reading, I was told there was a movie version of this book starring Blake Lively (Love her, LOVED Gossip Girl) but I reused to watch the trailer as by now you know how I feel about spoilers 🙂  Within 5 minutes of finishing this book, I Googled the trailer…and was completely underwhelmed by what I saw.  Even from watching this 2 minute clip of the movie, I can already tell that there are WAY too many differences from the book!  I know people who loved the movie and people loved the book…but I’m curious as to how they compare.  Have any of you seen the movie AND read the book?  They look so completely different!  Based upon this trailer I have no desire to now watch the movie…

Here is the movie trailer:

Bottom Line:

LOVED.  THIS.  BOOK.  The movie looks to be waaaay too different (not in a good way) from the book!?!?  Why do movie studios do this?!?!  Don’t mess with a great thing!!!  Ugh.

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  Have you seen the movie?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

8 Ways You Can Help Support Book Coffee Happy:

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Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

***INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S BOOK GIVEAWAY*** Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All) {Lori Orlinsky}

Oh do I have an adorable book to give away today!

As I said on Instagram, Lori Orlinsky’s book was delivered to our house at the PERFECT time.  It was like a gift from the heavens above on that dreadful day, lol.  I’m so excited to be hosting an international giveaway for it today!

Full disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book to read and review for my blog.  All opinions are my own.

Giveaway details will be given at the bottom of this post!

I absolutely love this book and so do my kids.  It’s adorable!  The pictures are so cute.  One thing that I am very particular about is how the rhyming and the flow of a children’s book is.  As a former teacher (and now as a mother) reading books aloud is part of my everyday life.  It is so much more enjoyable for both my kids and myself if the rhyming and overall flow of the words is smooth…and this book is a joy to read.

The message of this book is beautiful.  Acceptance of things that cannot be changed is one of the most challenging things for a child to understand.  This book is a beautiful way to help a child understand that acceptance.

I also appreciate that this book finds the “silver lining” in the situation by highlighting all of the positive aspects of being on shorter side.  This is a tactic that I often try to teach my own kids when faced with any problem.  Always looking for the positive aspects of the situation and learning to “turn the situation around” are always such hard concepts to teach.  This book does such a lovely job and sets such a perfect example of how to do this!

I would have loved a copy of this in my classroom when I was a teacher and it would have been one of my favorite read alouds.  Teaching tolerance and social awareness of accepting the differences in others is something that every teacher pursues and this book would have led to such wonderful classroom discussions.  Teachers, your classrooms need a copy of this book!

Fun Height Fact:  I’m 5’1…and my husband is 6’3!

A Conversation with Lori Orlinsky, In Her Own Words:

How did you create the idea for your book?

When my daughter Hayley was 3, she told me she didn’t want to go to school anymore because she was the shortest kid in her preschool class. It turns out, the teachers hung a growth chart on the wall, and while all of Hayley’s friends were at the top and middle of the chart, Hayley’s name was at the bottom, with no other names in sight.  For the first time in her 3 years of life, I saw my outgoing, confident girl feel a sense of shame about the way she looked. I tried to find a book with a short heroine in which she could relate to, but no book on the topic existed, until I wrote “Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All).”

What audience would be most interested in your book?

The book is geared towards babies through elementary school aged children. Despite the title, “Being Small” it isn’t just for short kids – there are wonderful messages in the book about self-confidence, which every child needs to hear in a world filled with bullying. Additionally, the book is also designed to give all children perspective on the power of their words. Told in rhyme, the topics in the book are more approachable, often leading to post-book discussions about self-acceptance and how to recognize and prevent bullying behavior.

Where can your book be purchased?
Online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. It is also available in select Barnes & Noble locations.

Use 3 adjectives to describe your book:

Empowering, inspiring, sweet

Any additional information that you would like to provide about you or your book:

Hayley is now 6 years-old and just graduated from Kindergarten. I truly believe the book has helped her embrace being short. Just last week, we went to the playground, and she was excited to show me the monkey bar flips that only she could do because of her height. I hope this book will make a difference in the lives of other children, too. It is a perfect read for anyone who has ever felt different.

“Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All)” was recently named a Gold Award Recipient of the 2019 Mom’s Choice Awards in the children’s book category. Additionally, the book is a Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Recipient

***GIVEAWAY DETAILS***

Do you have a special child in your life who would benefit from learning the beautiful messages taught in this book?
I have 1 autographed and dedicated copy of Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All) to give away! 
If you are located in the US, the hard copy will be mailed to you and if you are located internationally an e-copy will be emailed to you!  

To be entered, please complete these 2 simple steps:

1. Make sure that you are following and/or subscribed to my blog

2. Leave a comment below telling me how tall you are!

**You must complete BOTH of these steps to be eligible for the giveaway and you must complete them here on my blog (not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)**

Giveaway will close tomorrow (Thursday) at 4:00 pm CDT and the winner will be randomly chosen and announced in Friday’s blog post (6/28/19).

Make sure you check the blog on Friday to see if you’ve won (you will have 48 hours from the time I post the winner to email me your mailing address.  If I don’t hear from you within 48 hours, I will pick a new winner).

If you already follow and/or subscribe to my blog, you are still eligible…just leave a comment below to be entered 🙂

Good luck!  Can’t wait to read your comments!

8 Ways You Can Help Support Book Coffee Happy:

1. Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)

2. If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine

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4. Follow me on Instagram

5. Follow me on Twitter

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7. Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.

8. Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

Book Review: The Mother-In-Law {Sally Hepworth}

Before I review Sally Hepworth’s AMAZING new book, The Mother-In-Law, I want to thank all of the bloggers and vloggers who left their links to their websites in the comments on my last post!  I’m still in the process of checking them all out and I’ve already discovered some great new ones 🙂  If you haven’t added your information on that post yet, please do so!

A special welcome to all of my new readers!  I’m so glad you’re here 🙂

*This post contains affiliate links*

The Mother-in-Law was my 3rd Sally Hepworth book that I’ve read. I read The Secrets of Midwives years ago (I thought it was just eh) and last year I read The Family Next Door (you can read my review of that one HERE).  I had been waiting for months to read her newest book, The Mother-in-Law, and it was so worth the wait!

I devoured this book.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A twisty, compelling novel about one woman’s complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in murder…

From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana was exquisitely polite, and properly friendly, but Lucy knew that she was not what Diana envisioned. But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice who helped female refugees assimilate to their new country. Diana was happily married to Tom, and lived in wedded bliss for decades. Lucy wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law.

That was five years ago.

Now, Diana has been found dead, a suicide note near her body. Diana claims that she no longer wanted to live because of a battle with cancer.

But the autopsy finds no cancer.
The autopsy does find traces of poison and suffocation.
Who could possibly want Diana dead?
Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her adult children and their spouses?

With Lucy’s secrets getting deeper and her relationship with her mother-in-law growing more complex as the pages turn, this new novel from Sally Hepworth is sure to add to her growing legion of fans.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

4 Stars

I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK.

This review will be a bit difficult to write without giving anything away but I will say that this book was absolutely nothing like I was thinking it would be. Maybe it was because of the title that I just assumed it was going to be a similar read to this book? It was NOTHING like that one although I did enjoy that book as well (for completely different reasons).

I absolutely love when books contain the magic to make you think about your own experiences and relationships with others in different ways and this book absolutely did that for me. I’ve been quite reflective thinking about various relationships in my own life after finishing this book.

The Mother-In-Law had short (some just a handful of pages) chapters which is always my favorite way for books to be written.  I find it’s so much easier to read books this way as I read them at a quicker pace and they hold my attention for longer period of time!

The Mother-In-Law is a beautifully written, thought provoking, fantastic read that will make you look at all of your personal relationships in a different light. Highly recommend.  I haven’t stopped thinking about these characters and their situations since I finished reading 3 days ago.

The reason for my 4 star review was that some of the time frames were a bit confusing, a few character relationships weren’t as developed as they could have been, and the second half of the book was overall so much more captivating than the first.

Another flaw I did notice about this book is the ridiculous amount of screen time the children have! I’m most definitely NOT one of those moms who never allow TV or the iPad but truly it felt like every time a child was in a scene in this book they were attached to some device.  Play!  Talk!  Create!  There are so many things for children to do to entertain themselves…devices shouldn’t be the only answer.

(And on a side note which has nothing to do with this book…don’t even get me started on seeing children on devices while sitting at tables in restaurants and completely tuning out all of the social situations surrounding them.  MY. BIGGEST. PET. PEEVE).

I digress…

Even with the few flaws that I did find with this book, it’s overall so wonderfully written and fantastic!

A beautiful book.

Did you catch Sally Hepworth on the Today Show last week?  She’s adorable!

Bottom Line:

Read this.  Today.  And then take a step back and look carefully at how you perceive the others around you.

Be sure to check the blog on Wednesday for a GIVEAWAY of an ADORABLE book! 🙂

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  Have you read others by Sally Hepworth? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

8 Ways You Can Help Support Book Coffee Happy:

1. Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)

2. If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine

3. “Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)

4. Follow me on Instagram

5. Follow me on Twitter

6. Subscribe to my YouTube channel

7. Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.

8. Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

Book Review: How To Find Love In A Bookshop {Veronica Henry}

This book was sitting on a shelf at the library with the front cover facing outward. I walked past, saw the title, and that alone was enough to make me want to read more! A title which contains both the words love AND bookshop?!  Sign me up!  I’d never heard of this book or of this author…but I was intrigued enough to take it home with me and I’m so glad that I did.  I read it and now I have so many thoughts.  There were definitely parts of it that I LOVED…aaaaaaaand then there were parts of it that I didn’t.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The enchanting story of a bookshop, its grieving owner, a supportive literary community, and the extraordinary power of books to heal the heart

Nightingale Books, nestled on the main street in an idyllic little village, is a dream come true for book lovers–a cozy haven and welcoming getaway for the literary-minded locals. But owner Emilia Nightingale is struggling to keep the shop open after her beloved father’s death, and the temptation to sell is getting stronger. The property developers are circling, yet Emilia’s loyal customers have become like family, and she can’t imagine breaking the promise she made to her father to keep the store alive.

There’s Sarah, owner of the stately Peasebrook Manor, who has used the bookshop as an escape in the past few years, but it now seems there’s a very specific reason for all those frequent visits. Next is roguish Jackson, who, after making a complete mess of his marriage, now looks to Emilia for advice on books for the son he misses so much. And the forever shy Thomasina, who runs a pop-up restaurant for two in her tiny cottage–she has a crush on a man she met in the cookbook section, but can hardly dream of working up the courage to admit her true feelings.

Enter the world of Nightingale Books for a serving of romance, long-held secrets, and unexpected hopes for the future–and not just within the pages on the shelves. How to Find Love in a Bookshop is the delightful story of Emilia, the unforgettable cast of customers whose lives she has touched, and the books they all cherish.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

3.5 Stars

I’m conflicted with my review of this book.  I loved it…truly!  I thought it was sweet, charming, heartwarming, and lovely.

But I just never felt like picking it up to read it.  Ever.

In all fairness, I started reading this book as soon as I finished this one.  Now THAT book was one that I couldn’t put down and I read it over the course of a few days.  The genres of these 2 books are so completely different but it’s hard to dive right into a book like this one after just finishing a book like that one.  I usually love switching genres before starting a new read but I think this might have just been too great of a switch.  Does that make sense?  Has this ever happened to you?

Of course this lovely book wasn’t suspenseful…it wasn’t supposed to be!  But after just finishing one which quite literally had me on the edge of my seat, this one just felt…a bit…too calm.

The sheer amount of characters in this book were insane.  There were WAY too many characters, WAY too many story lines, and WAY too much jumping around from one to the other!  Just as I was really starting to fall into a story line, the story lines would change and honestly many of them were predictable and unrealistic.  I also didn’t love the endings of more than 1 story line.

HOWEVER…

Despite my issues with this book, it truly is a gem. It’s sweet, touching, and overall just lovely. I teared up quite a few times while reading!

Nightingale Books sounds so charming! If that store were in my neighborhood I would be in there everyday. If you are a book lover like I am, hearing all about Nightingale Books will be your favorite part of this book.  In fact, the entire town of Peasebrook sounds just lovely!  I Googled it and learned that it’s not a real town.  I wish it were, I would so love to visit such a cute and special little corner of the world. 🙂

If you are looking for an easy, lighthearted book…this is a good one!

I truly wonder if my review would have been different had I not just finished such an intense psychological thriller right before I picked this one up?

Bottom Line:

It’s got some issues…but overall I truly did enjoy it!  Also, any book which focuses on an charming independent bookstore is absolutely a book worth reading.

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

8 Ways You Can Help Support Book Coffee Happy:

1. Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)

2. If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine

3. “Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)

4. Follow me on Instagram

5. Follow me on Twitter

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7. Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.

8. Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

Cookbook Giveaway: I’m A Chef and my Kids Want Buttered Noodles {Heath Schecter}

I have such a fun book giveaway for you today…a cookbook!

This blog has awarded me with the unique opportunity to meet so many authors.  I’ve read such lovely books and have met such lovely people.  It has been an amazing experience, that’s for sure!

But today is a brand new experience for me.  Today, I get to review my FRIEND’S book!

I’ve known Heath for years.  His sister, Becca, has been a really close friend of mine since the day we met at overnight camp.  Her and I have been through it all…side ponytails, overalls, and our favorite show “My So-Called Life”…anyone else LOVE that show as much as her and I did?!?  Becca has the cutest family…check out and subscribe to their YouTube channel HERE!  Love you so much, Becca 🙂

Heath married Becca’s sister and we now live about 2 minutes from each other.  When he first wrote his cookbook back in 2017, my husband and I bought our copy immediately!  We love it!

Fun Fact: My husband is a HUGE fan of Heath’s cooking.  For Jon’s 40th birthday, I hired Heath to come to my house and cook a 5 course MEAT dinner for Jon and his best friend.  Both men declared that dinner that Heath cooked to be one of the best meals they have ever had.  A huge success!

You can see Heath in action in this link to an awesome news segment that he filmed a few months ago:

Midday Fix: Hangover Help Recipe from Chef Heath Schecter

I’m both honored and excited to share his awesome cookbook with all of you today!

The book itself is gorgeous.  It’s filled with beautiful, colorful pictures and has so many interesting and unique recipes.  It includes starters, soups & salads, main courses, sous vide cooking, desserts, sides, sauces, seasonings, and so much more!

This chef knows his stuff.  You should have smelled my kitchen when he came over to cook for Jon and his friend…DELICIOUS.

This book would make a perfect Father’s Day gift or any gift!  It’s a fantastic addition to any kitchen.  We love our copy and know that you will, too 🙂

A Conversation with Heath Schecter, in His Own Words:

How did you create the idea for your book?

When my photographer friend, Garry Rosenfeldt, asked to take chef pictures of me. When he did, one of the pictures looked like it would be a great photo for a book. Over the years, as a chef, I have created a lot of recipes. Over those years, my kids wouldn’t really eat most of the food I created. So, having this picture and all these recipes, I decided I’d write a cookbook. I needed a title and figured I’d create a title based off my experience of cooking all these dishes and my kids not wanting any of it, and just wanting buttered noodles, or chicken fingers, etc.

What audience would be most interested in your book?

I think the audience for my cookbook would be anyone that likes to cook. I tried to write the recipes so that anyone could reproduce them.

Where can your book be purchased?

You can find the book on Amazon

Any additional information that you would like to provide about you or your book:

This isn’t a cookbook filled with recipes for kids. These are a collection of recipes I have created over the years. It is filled with a bunch of different dishes that should satisfy all palates.

***GIVEAWAY DETAILS***

I have 1 autographed copy of I’m a Chef and My Kids Want Buttered Noodles to give away (US only for this giveaway)!

To be entered, please complete these 2 simple steps:

1. Make sure that you are following and/or subscribed to my blog

2. Leave a comment below describing your favorite meal!

**You must complete BOTH of these steps to be eligible for the giveaway and you must complete them here on my blog (not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)**

Giveaway will close tomorrow (Thursday) at 4:00 pm CDT and the winner will be randomly chosen and announced in Friday’s blog post (6/7/19).

Make sure you check the blog on Friday to see if you’ve won (you will have 48 hours from the time I post the winner to email me your mailing address.  If I don’t hear from you within 48 hours, I will pick a new winner).

If you already follow and/or subscribe to my blog, you are still eligible…just leave a comment below to be entered 🙂

Good luck!  Can’t wait to read your comments!

8 Ways You Can Help Support Book Coffee Happy:

1. Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)

2. If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine

3. “Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)

4. Follow me on Instagram

5. Follow me on Twitter

6. Subscribe to my YouTube channel

7. Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.

8. Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

Book Review (Unpopular Opinion): Then She Was Gone {Lisa Jewell}

When I mentioned on Facebook and Instagram that I was going to read this book, I was overwhelmed by the amount of people who said that they LOVED it!  I was so excited to read and review it!

Synopsis from Goodreads:

THEN
She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.

NOW
It’s been ten years since Ellie disappeared, but Laurel has never given up hope of finding her daughter.

And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet.

Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter.

Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age. And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.

What happened to Ellie? Where did she go?

Who still has secrets to hide?

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

3.5 Stars

My vacation is officially over and I officially hardly read ANYTHING while I was there.  SO WEIRD.  I have decided that Disney World is truly the only vacation spot in the history of the world where it is physically impossible to sit down and relax with a book.

The plus side?  I am now having a glorious time back at home working my way through this stack of books, lol!

Two of them have already been returned to the library.  I’m currently reading this one. I’m not quite sure when I will read this one???

I recently started AND finished Then She Was Gone! I read the whole book over a handful of days.  If you follow me on Instagram you know that I’ve been home with 2 sick kids.  Thank you for these extra germy souvenirs, Disney World!  My poor little babies have been sleeping so much so I’ve had extra reading time.  Thankfully everyone is feeling better and today is the first day where they are BOTH back at school!

As for my review, my feelings about this book are so incredibly mixed.

Overall, it was GREAT, I couldn’t put it down! I loved the short chapters, the different points of view, and the highly complicated plot. It held my interest from page 1. Such a quick, fantastic read and so well written!  I can’t wait to read more titles by this author and already have 2 of them on my library waiting list.  She’s clearly talented.

However…

This is one of the most predictable books I’ve ever read. I figured out every major (and more than one minor) twist almost immediately. That NEVER happens! I hate spoilers so much that I don’t even TRY to figure out twists but this book basically begs you to spoil it for yourself.

I kept waiting to be wrong, I kept waiting to be shocked, I kept waiting to be surprised. And yet…I felt none of that. At all.

There were a few minor occurrences I didn’t see coming, but none of them were important enough to the story that they made any kind of difference.

This book reminded me SO much of this one! So well written, so great….but yet so incredibly predictable.

There is absolutely nothing better than a blindsighted twist in a psychological thriller and unfortunately there wasn’t a single one in this book. No big defining moment. No big shocking ending. Unfortunately this will be one of those books months down the road where I won’t be able to recall details.

I wasn’t satisfied with the ending as there were still storylines that weren’t completely tied up and explained.  Plus, the entire ending was just so weird.

Also, this book is DARK.  And disturbing.  So disturbing. All psychological thrillers are dark and a bit disturbing but the subjects in this one took that to a whole different level.  I actually found parts hard to read because of the dark subjects being discussed.

Clearly not my favorite psychological thriller.  If you are looking for a good one in this genre, I HIGHLY suggest reading this one! I loved that book.  Much more than I loved this one.

Bottom Line:

I think I figured out this entire story before all of the characters were even introduced, lol.

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  So many people love this book…are you one of them?

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

8 Ways You Can Help Support Book Coffee Happy:

1. Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)

2. If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine

3. “Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)

4. Follow me on Instagram

5. Follow me on Twitter

6. Subscribe to my YouTube channel (search Book Coffee Happy)

7. Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.

8. Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

Book Review: Dumplin’ {Julie Murphy}

This book had been on my radar for months…I couldn’t wait to read and review it!

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

3 Stars

I’m so torn with my review of this book. I REALLY wanted to love it. It has everything in terms of story line that a great book should have. Interesting characters? Check. Interesting story line? Check.

And yet…eh. I found this whole book just fell flat.

If the story had really focused on the pageant and everything leading up to it as the synopsis promises, it would have been so much better. However, the majority of this book focused on a teenager’s day-to-day life which I found boring.

Also, this book has WAY too many characters and WAY too many story lines. None of the characters even had a chance to become fully developed and therefore became unforgettable and interchangeable as the story went on. I also found the majority of these characters to be very unlikable! The only characters I truly liked in the entire book were Mitch (and Lucy).

The main character (Willowdean) was extraordinarily judgmental of other people (and obviously of herself) which is ironic since the entire premise of this book is about breaking through stereotypes.

I found her relationship with her best friend to be obsessive and unhealthy.  I get that we are viewing this relationship through the eyes of a (dramatic) teenager but still…it bothered me that she felt she NEEDED this relationship to feel whole.  In fact, I believe she even made this exact comment in this story!

I had one MAJOR issue with this story which I will say in the comments because it’s also a major spoiler 🙂

However, in between the parts of the book where I found fault, I also found beauty.  There ARE beautiful and important messages, lessons, and moments delivered throughout this story.  Unfortunately, combined with all of the reasons stated above, this book just wasn’t nearly as great as I was expecting it to be.

There is a sequel to this book which unfortunately I have zero desire to read. Ugh! I really thought I was going to love both of these books!  I have already returned both to the library.  Sad.

But here’s the weird thing…The trailer for the movie looks AMAZING. Could this possibly be one of those rare occurrences where the movie is better than the book??? Check out the movie trailer starring Jennifer Aniston:

Looks so amazing, right?!?  Have any of you seen it?  I would love to hear your thoughts.  If any of you have read the book AND have seen the movie, I’m really wondering how they compare?

Bottom Line:

If the movie is truly as wonderful as the trailer makes it out to be, I say skip the book and just watch the movie.  And I NEVER say that.

Foam on the Crest of Waves Giveaway Winners:

Thank you so much to everyone who entered the Foam on the Crest of Waves Giveaway!

Hard Copy Winner:

Melissa A (I am subscribed via my blog account (chicklitcentral). I just went to Miami a few weeks ago and loved the beach there! I used to go to Pompano Beach (also in FL) every year as a kid and that also brings back great memories. I live in the US. Hard copy preferred. Thanks for the chance!)

E-Book Winners (There were so many entries for the hard copy but only 3 for the e-books! So…congratulations to all 3 of you!):

Kelley Blair (My favorite beach is Ocean Isle in North Carolina. I am USA and either hard copy or e-book works for me. Thank you kindly.)

Melissa Strader  (This sounds like a great book! I already follow your blog and love reading it! My favorites beaches are located along the coast of La Jolla, CA – so much to see and do there, not just water activities, but also restaurants and shopping and biking. Kayaking the Sea Caves is the best! I’m ok with a real book or electronic copy. I live in the USA!)

Mistysbookspace (Thank you so much for the chance. I am already a follower. I have only ever been to two beaches and those are New Smyrna beach and Myrtle Beach. I don’t really remember much about my visit to New Smyrna beach because I went when I was younger so I’m going to say Myrtle beach is my favorite. It’s a little crowded at least when I’ve gone but it’s gorgeous and there are so many other activities to do there as well. I live in the US. I would prefer a hard copy but I’m ok with ebooks too. Thank you again for the chance.)

Ladies, please email me (bookcoffeehappy@gmail.com) with your mailing address (hard copy winner) or your email address (e-book winners) of where you would like your book sent!  Congratulations and enjoy!

Have a great weekend, everyone!  I hope you fill it doing things with those you love!

Xo,

Jenny

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